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The Real Ethics of Fake News

February 27, 2018 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm


Dr. Scott R. Stroud (The University of Texas at Austin) // February 27th, 2018 // 2:00pm-3:15pm // Belo Center for New Media (BMC) 5.208

Is fighting fake news as simple as it seems to be? What ethical challenges will our efforts to stomp out fake news create? More and more attention is being directed at the impact of fake news on American democracy. Scholars in a range of fields are attempting to determine who is behind fake news propaganda efforts, what its effects are, and how to combat it using technological means. This study looks at the ethical issues raised in the fight against fake news. By developing an outline of a pragmatist media ethics, this article examines the complex ethical terrain of the seemingly simple problem of fake news. Additionally, the pragmatist approach to fake news also allows us to highlight the conflicting values and outcomes at stake in our attempts to conceptualize and eradicate this new ethical challenge in our social media environments. Such an imaginative engagement with the phenomenon of fake news on its own terms is an essential first step in diagnosing its ethical challenges and potential solutions.

Dr. Scott Stroud is the Director of the Media Ethics Initiative and an associate professor of communication studies at the University of Texas at Austin. His research covers a range of topics in communication and philosophy. He is the author of John Dewey and the Artful Life (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2011), Kant and the Promise of Rhetoric (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2014), and A Practical Guide to Ethics: Living and Leading with Integrity (co-authored with Rita Manning, Westview Press, 2007). He has published work on a variety of topics in media ethics, including blogging ethics, revenge porn, and the online activism of Anonymous.

Free and open to the UT community and general public



February 27, 2018
8:00 am - 5:00 pm